DC boards up ahead of Georgia run-off and Congress finalizing election result as mayor calls in 340 National Guard troops for ‘wild’ pro-Trump protests in the city but is told MAGA crowds ‘don’t torch and loot’
- Muriel Bowser urged calm Monday as some 340 troops were activated
- Storefronts and office buildings were boarded in downtown Washington D.C.
- Road closures were also announced across the capital ahead of Congress’ expected vote to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory
- Bowser put in a request on NYE’s for Guard members from January 5 to 7
- An official said the D.C. National Guard members will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor
- Trump has so far refused to concede while whipping up support for protests
Bracing for possible violence, businesses in the nation’s capital are being boarded up as the National Guard is mobilized ahead of planned protests by President Donald Trump’s supporters as Congress meets Wednesday to accept the Electoral College votes.
Trump’s supporters are planning to rally Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking to bolster the president’s unproven claims of widespread voter fraud. ‘
‘There are people intent on coming to our city armed,’ D.C. Acting Police Chief Robert Contee said on Monday.
Trump supporters on the National Mall hang flags ahead of anticipated pro-Trump protests this week, in Washington, DC
Workers place wood panels to reinforce window panes on a commercial building ahead of anticipated pro-Trump protests
Workers board up buildings near Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington in preparation for a rally on January 6, the day when Congress is scheduled to meet to formally finalize the presidential election results
Mayor Muriel Bowser has called in the National Guard to help manage potentially violent pro Donald Trump protests this week
Mike Davis, a former Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said that Trump supporters were not the ones to riot and loot
‘We have received some information that there are individuals intent on bringing firearms into our city and that just will not be tolerated,’ he said adding that anyone found doing so or provoking violence would be arrested.
Thousands of Trump supporters, including some far-right nationalist groups that openly carry arms at protests elsewhere, are expected to converge on the U.S. capital starting on Tuesday to oppose Congress’ certification the next day of the Republican president’s November 3rd election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Contee said the protests could be bigger than November and December rallies marred by stabbings and brawls as hundreds of Proud Boys, a group of self-described ‘Western chauvinists,’ and other Trump loyalists clashed with counter-protesters, and sought fights with antifa, or anti-fascists, and Black Lives Matter activists.
A pro-Trump rally in December ended in violence as hundreds of Trump supporters, wearing the signature black and yellow of the Proud Boys faction, sought out confrontations with a collective of local activists attempting to bar them from Black Lives Matter Plaza, an area near the White House.
Right-wing conservative groups plan to protest against the US Congress on 6th January counting the electoral college votes and stores are boarding up in preparation for the rallys
Workers place wood panels to reinforce window panes on a commercial building ahead of anticipated pro-Trump protests, in Washington
The protesters are attempting to overturn the presidential election that US President-elect Joe Biden won.
Trump continues to share tweets about the event, writing Sunday: ‘I will be there. Historic day!’
On Monday, Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested the leader of the Proud Boys, Henry ‘Enrique’ Tarrio, 36, after he arrived in Washington ahead of this week’s protests. Tarrio was accused of burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was torn down from a historic Black church in downtown Washington during the December protests.
A warrant had been issued for Tarrio’s arrest for destruction of property, police said. He was also facing a weapons charges after officers found him with two high-capacity firearm magazines when he was arrested, a police spokesman said.
The president announced last month that he would be attending the ‘wild’ protest tweetin: ‘Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!’
Trump has repeatedly encouraged this week’s protests and hinted that he may get personally involved. Over the weekend, he retweeted a promotion for the rally with the message, ‘I will be there. Historic Day!’
At a November rally, which drew about 15,000 people, Trump staged a limousine drive-by past cheering crowds in Freedom Plaza, on the city’s iconic Pennsylvania Avenue. And at the December rally, which drew smaller numbers but a larger contingent of Proud Boys, Trump’s helicopter flew low over cheering crowds on the National Mall.
Congress is meeting this week to certify the Electoral College results, and President Donald Trump has refused to concede while whipping up support for protests
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested National Guard troops and urged residents to avoid downtown
Bowser’s office told media outlets on Monday that she had asked the National Guard to send about 340 unarmed troops to help District of Columbia police and firefighters manage demos
The mayor advised Washington residents to stay out of the downtown area and refrain from engaging with protesters who ‘come to our city seeking confrontation.’
A stage is set up on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Monday in preparation for a rally on January 6, the day when Congress is scheduled to meet to formally finalize the presidential election results
Various road closures have been announced in D.C. to allow the demonstrations to take place
The protests coincide with Wednesday’s congressional vote expected to certify the Electoral College results, which Trump continues to dispute, falsely claiming that Biden won the election through massive vote-rigging.
Election officials from both political parties, governors in key battleground states and Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have said there was no widespread fraud in the election. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two rejected by the Supreme Court.
Congress is constitutionally mandated to certify the presidential election results on Wednesday, in what would normally be a formality overseen by Vice President Mike Pence.
But at least 12 Republican senators and some 140 Republican House of Representatives members pledged to vote against certification of Biden’s win, citing Trump’s election fraud allegations.
On Wednesday, a joint session of Congress will count the certified electoral votes to confirm Joe Biden as the new President
A sign is posted near the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in preparation for a rally on Wednesday
Mayor Bowser said hat guns won’t be permitted at this week’s protests, and she may yet impose a curfew
Jose Lopez, left, and Marvin Ramirez, right, both from Washington, install boards on the windows of the St. Regis Hotel near Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington
Their move will not change the outcome, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, told the news conference. ‘Our Constitution will endure. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the president and the vice president of the United States’ when they are inaugurated on January 20.
Now with downtown D.C. businesses boarding up their windows, Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested a limited National Guard deployment to help bolster the Metropolitan Police Department.
Bowser urged residents to stay out of the city center, where boards hung during racial justice rallies last summer still cover office, restaurant and hotel windows.
During a press conference on Monday, Bowser asked that local area residents stay away from downtown D.C., and avoid confrontations with anyone who is ‘looking for a fight.’ But, she warned, ‘we will not allow people to incite violence, intimidate our residents or cause destruction in our city.’
According to a U.S. defense official, Bowser put in a request on New Year’s Eve to have Guard members on the streets from Tuesday to Thursday to help with the protests.
Mike Davis, a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, said that Trump supporters were not the ones to riot and loot.
‘@realDonaldTrump supporters weren’t the ones rioting, looting big-screen TVs from Best Buy, tearing down Lincoln statues, torching churches, throwing rocks at police, and beating up innocent bystanders. Those were #BLM, #antifa, & other @JoeBiden supporters’, Davis tweeted.
A stage is set up in front of the White House. Around 15,000 Trump supporters are expected
Portable toilets are set up on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington
Her request was approved by Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller it was reported Monday.
The official said the additional forces will be used for traffic control and other assistance but they will not be armed or wearing body armor. Congress is meeting this week to certify the Electoral College results, and Trump has refused to concede while whipping up support for protests.
Some 340 D.C. National Guard members will be activated, with about 115 on duty in the streets at any given time, said the defense official, who provided details on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The official said Guard members will be used to set up traffic control points around the city and to stand with district police officers at all the city’s Metro stops. Contee said Guard troops will also be used for some crowd management.
‘Some of our intelligence certainly suggests there will be increased crowd sizes,’ said Contee.
D.C. police have posted signs throughout downtown warning that carrying any sort of firearm is illegal and Contee asked area residents to warn authorities of anyone who might be armed.
A member of the Proud Boys is stabbed during street fights in Washington DC after a Stop the Steal rally protesting the United States presidential election results on December 12
At least four protesters have been stabbed after violence erupted between the Proud Boys and Black Lives Matter counter-protesters following the second Million MAGA March in Washington D.C. last month
Because D.C. does not have a governor, the designated commander of the city’s National Guard is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Any D.C. requests for Guard deployments have to be approved by him.
The defense official said that there will be no active duty military troops in the city, and the U.S. military will not be providing any aircraft or intelligence.
The D.C. Guard will provide specialized teams that will be prepared to respond to any chemical or biological incident. But the official said there will be no D.C. Guard members on the National Mall or at the U.S. Capitol.
At previous pro-Trump protests, police have sealed off Black Lives Matter Plaza itself, but the confrontations merely spilled out to the surrounding streets. Contee on Monday said sealing the area again was ‘a very real possibility’ but said that decision would depend on the circumstances.
‘We know that historically over the last few demonstrations that BLM plaza has been a focal point,’ Contee said. ‘We want to make sure that that is not an issue.’
The National Park Service has received three separate applications for pro-Trump protests on Tuesday or Wednesday, with estimated maximum attendance at around 15,000 people, said Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst. On Monday, a stage was being assembled for one of the protests on The Ellipse, just south of the White House.
Members of the far right group the Proud Boys and BLM activists have running street fights in Washington DC after a Stop the Steal rally protesting the presidential election results
Thousands of the president’s loyal followers gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest on December 11
Organizers plan to rally on Tuesday evening at Freedom Plaza and again all day Wednesday on the Ellipse, including a 1pm Wednesday march to the Capitol.
Expected attendees include high-level Trump supporters like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Republican strategist Roger Stone, a longtime Trump devotee whose three-year prison sentence was commuted by Trump.
Stone was convicted of repeatedly lying to Congress during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
During the December 12 pro-Trump protests, at least two local Black churches had Black Lives Matter banners torn down and set ablaze. Contee said the hate-crimes investigation into those incidents was still ongoing and that his officers would be out in force around area churches to prevent similar incidents.
‘We will be increasing our visibility around the churches in the area,’ he said.
On Monday the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against the Proud Boys and Tarrio on behalf on one of the vandalized churches, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.
‘We will not allow white supremacist violence to go unchecked by the laws of the land,’ Rev. William H Lamar IV, pastor of Metropolitan AME, said in a statement.
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